Somewhere, in a dusty shop
A printer makes copies of the libretto
Of our National Opera
The evening air is still, quiet, and thrilling.
A solitary crow makes an excited cry,
And then shuts up.
I enter a room, and sit down on a deep chair.
The announcer intones, and advises us
Not to parody the lyrics:
These words are simple but meaningful.
The singer with the Elvis voice begins.
I glance at the woman next to me,
A stranger, who smiles and listens
To the music with deep satisfaction.
I see the face of the singer
On a small television set on the wall.
He's ugly, like Ed Sullivan in black and white.
I want to get up.
With difficulty, I arise and go to the window,
And look over the canyons,
Once a forest, now filled
With apartment houses, occupied by students.
I look into their windows:
They live in squalor, piles of papers and books
Rising to the ceiling.
They stand and wash the dishes together.
They too, are listening to the Opera.